How to set up your snowboard

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It never ceases to amaze me when some riders I meet say they have no idea how to set up their snowboard. A lot of them just have a guy at the ski area rental and tune shop put them on however he thinks is best, and they leave them like that all the time. These riders miss out on a lot by not knowing how to set up their snowboard.

First, consider what type of riding you most often do. Is it in the park hitting rail and box features or trying out jumps? Or do you like to stick to the mountain trails and occasionally ride the glades?

Do you want to progress to riding fast down steeper and more technical terrain while laying down big carves? Or are you more into buttering off of rollers and spinning out of side hits at a more leisurely pace? You could answer “yes” to all of the above or just a couple of them. Either way, there are different ways to set up your kit that can allow you to do these things better and more easily.

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Stance Width:
Your stance width is how far apart you mount your bindings on the board. It is determined by the distance from the center of one binding’s foot-bed to the center of the other. This chart gives you a general idea of the range widths that you may fall into for your given height.

height (feet) width (inch)
5’2″ – 5’4″ 18-19
5’5″ – 5’8″ 19-20
5’9″ – 6′ 20-21
> 6′ 22-23

The chart by no means serves as a hard and fast rule. Your comfort and type of riding are also factors. For example, the further apart you set your bindings, the more stress you put on your knees which may take a toll as the day goes on. But! wider stances tend to provide you with more stability and more control over the tip and tail of the board.

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Freestyle riders tend to prefer wide stances because it makes it easier to spin on and off features and it’s easier to lay into presses and butters. In contrast, a narrower stance will be more comfortable over the course of the day and allow you turn quicker and easier. Freeriders who spend a lot of time on steep terrain and in the glades sometimes prefer narrower stances.

Stance Angles: Your bindings can be set at angle in either direction on your board. Setting your bindings at an angle that point toward your nose is a positive angle setting, and toward the tail is a negative angle setting.

Most people will have a positive setting on the front binding and a negative on the back. This is called a “duck stance”. If you ride switch a lot you probably want some degree of a duck stance. This allows your torso to face more forward while riding in either direction.

Some freeriders like to have a positive stance angles on both bindings since they are not riding switch often.   Having your torso positioned toward the nose of your board allows you to ride with more power and control.

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Stance angles can be set anywhere from 0 to 30 degrees and are normally adjustable in 3 degree increments as indicated on your bolt plate. If you’re not sure of where to set your angles at start with a positive 15 or 18 degrees on your front binding and 3, 6 or 9 negative degree angle on your back binding. Then play around with changing up the angles until you get the right mix of comfort and functionality dialed in.

Learning how your board and bindings interface to give you better performance and comfort is essential for a great riding experience. If you’re not sure how set up your rig head down to your local shop and they’ll get you started. You can then tweak your adjustments as your riding progresses.


Tags: snowboard stance setup, setup bindings on snowboard, setting up bindings on snowboard,choosing snowboard bindings, tips for first time snowboarding, snowboarding tips, snowboard binding setup, how to set up your snowboard

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